Home » UKAEA preps tender for £20bn fusion reactor job

UKAEA preps tender for £20bn fusion reactor job

by Samiyah Mokaddus
fusion plant design

The UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) is readying two contracts worth £10bn each to find construction and engineering partners for the country’s first prototype fusion energy power plant.

The appointed team will work collaboratively with UKAEA to commercialise the STEP (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production) project.

These partners will be core to delivery of the programme, as well as securing market-leading experience and knowledge.

The authority has announced it will begin tendering in December.

Atkins and energy transition specialists Assystem, were this month confirmed as Tranche 1 engineering delivery partner to develop the concept design for STEP.

Tranche 1 work will conclude in April 2024 when, subject to approval, the engineering and construction partners will develop a fully formed major programme bringing together and developing extensive industrial capabilities to deliver a full plant design, a viable supply chain and seek the consents needed for construction.

The construction partner will be tasked with delivering a site development programme, including innovative building designs focused on cost, schedule, safety and sustainability.

It will also manage the construction supply chain, taking direct responsibility for some sourcing decisions and work with the leadership team on more significant procurements.

The announcement of STEP’s site location is expected later this year following UKAEA’s recommendation to the Secretary of State for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Tristram Denton, head of commercial and programme development for STEP, said: “Fusion has great potential to deliver safe, sustainable, low carbon energy for generations to come, and STEP is leading the way.

“It’s an ambitious programme operating at the forefront of science, technology and engineering.

“It’s clear we must make significant changes to address the effects of climate change, and STEP’s delivery partners will play a crucial role in our quest to making fusion a reality.”

Image: Proposed STEP fusion plant design

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